'He always did what he wanted to do': David Bowie's peers react to his death

'He always did what he wanted to do': David Bowie's peers react to his death
Many of David Bowie's peers -- including Paul McCartney, Kanye West and Bowie's longtime producer, Tony Visconti -- have reacted to his death. (Harald Menk / AFP/Getty Images)

News of David Bowie’s death at 69 stunned people around the world when it was announced late Sunday, including some who’d been warned it was coming.

“I knew for a year this is the way it would be,” wrote Bowie’s longtime producer, Tony Visconti, in a widely shared Facebook post. “I wasn’t, however, prepared for it.”

Visconti worked with Bowie on such classic albums as “Diamond Dogs,” “Young Americans” and “Heroes,” as well as “The Next Day,” which came out in 2013 after a decade-long hiatus in which Bowie was little seen or heard.

The producer also oversaw “Blackstar,” which was released Friday, two days before Bowie died from cancer, and found the shape-shifting singer pushing his music in yet another new direction with help from a crew of New York jazz players including saxophonist Donny McCaslin and drummer Mark Guiliana.

“He always did what he wanted to do,” Visconti went on. “And he wanted to do it his way and he wanted to do it the best way. His death was no different from his life – a work of Art. He made Blackstar for us, his parting gift.”

Many more of Bowie’s peers reacted to the singer’s death online.

On his website, Paul McCartney called Bowie “a great star” that “will shine in the sky forever.”

“His music played a very strong part in British musical history,” McCartney added, “and I’m proud to think of the huge influence he has had on people all around the world.”

Kanye West said on Twitter that Bowie “was one of my most important inspirations.”

Cher, calling the singer “a legend,” tweeted that she was “devastated.”

And in a series of tweets, Madonna said Bowie “changed my life” and that she was lucky to have met him.

More on David Bowie's life and career.

Twitter: @mikaelwood